NYT Climate Reporting: Some Realism amid Political Retreat

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By Robert Bradley Jr.

“[J]ust 1 percent of voters in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll named climate change as the most important issue facing the country, far behind worries about inflation and the economy. Even among voters under 30, the group thought to be most energized by the issue, that figure was 3 percent.” (NYT, Below)

Climate anxiety or climate realism? The stark choice becomes more apparent every day as climate alarmists lick their wounds at political failure. So what is the next move for those who just can’t stomach the sober data of global climate? One guess is to get the climate modelers to tweak a few things to conclude, “oh, we have more time than we thought for Net Zero.”

Fifty years ago, two key Club of Rome/Limits to Growth authors retreated to their New Hampshire farm “to learn about homesteading and wait for the coming collapse.” That was 1972, Now, the desperadoes glue themselves to oil paintings and bank buildings. Climate anxiety is claiming its victims.

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The latest from the New York Times is doom–and-gloom, both in the problem they are tethered to and the public’s disinterest in the issue. It is a realistic view, a ‘current,’ on what is the agonizing death of Net Zero.

I parse and comment on As the Planet Cooks, Climate Stalls as a Political Issue below.

Joe Manchin’s rejection of a compromise climate bill tells a familiar story: Voters and politicians put a higher premium on immediate issues, such as inflation and the economy, giving politicians a pass on global warming.

Lesson: Real problems crowd out future speculative ones. Global warming is a rich society’s problem, as many have said.

Mr. Hawkinson, a 24-year-old cashier…. “Honestly, there’s only so much our leaders of the country can do.”

Lesson: Yes, the U.S. cannot solve the ‘problem’ anyway. This is an open secret from simple climate math. But the mainstream media looks the other way on the thought that somehow, U.S. leadership will drive the world.

But an electorate already struggling with inflation, exhausted by Covid and adjusting to tectonic changes like the end to constitutionally protected abortions may give the latest Democratic defeat a resigned shrug. And that may be why climate change remains an issue with little political power, either for those pressing for dramatic action or for those standing in the way.

“People are exhausted by the pandemic, they’re terribly disillusioned by the government,” said Anusha Narayanan, climate campaign director for Greenpeace USA, the environmental group known for its guerrilla tactics but now struggling to mobilize supporters. She added: “People see climate as a tomorrow problem. We have to make them see it’s not a tomorrow problem.”

LessonGovernment failure is obvious in the attempt to address what people think may or may not be a problem. In fact, government failure might be worse than the alleged market failure.

Still, just 1 percent of voters in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll named climate change as the most important issue facing the country, far behind worries about inflation and the economy. Even among voters under 30, the group thought to be most energized by the issue, that figure was 3 percent.

Lesson: Amazing. How many really knew. Few really believe the narrative, despite all the money spent by the alarmists to hype weather into climate and call it “an existential threat.”

“This challenge is not as invisible as it used to be, but for most people, even those who live in greater Miami, this isn’t something they encounter every day, whereas their encounters with a gas pump are extremely depressing,” said Carlos Curbelo, a former Republican House member from South Florida who pressed his party to act on climate change. He added: “In healthier economic times, it’s easier to focus on issues like this. Once people get desperate, all that goes out the window.”

Lesson: See comment above–climate is a happy time indulgence. And unaffordable as it turns out.

Two years ago, millions of high school students were leaving school early on “climate strikes.” Greta Thunberg, the teenage Swedish activist, was a hero as she sailed across the Atlantic Ocean for United Nations climate talks and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was preaching a Green New Deal. In 2020, Mr. Biden campaigned on a transformative, $2 trillion program to wean the nation from fossil fuels….

Lesson: Take names and hold hearings on the damage that the futile, errant climate crusade has done to date? Manchin should call on Democrats to get back to their roots of helping the poor and middle class. And let the deep ecologists go to the Green Party.

A bipartisan infrastructure bill signed by President Biden included funding for charging stations, but not for electric vehicle subsidies.

Lesson: Can government recall the funds? We have budget deficits and monetary inflation to pay for them.

Even the soaring cost of gasoline seems to have undermined a central belief of the climate movement: that higher prices for fossil fuels would naturally spark a rush toward more efficient vehicles and alternate energy sources. Instead, gas prices over $5 a gallon produced a bipartisan call for more oil production.

Lesson: Remember ‘Peak Demand’? That is going the way of ‘Peak Supply’. Still, ‘demand destruction’ from high motor fuel prices has is the result of hurting regular folk, not the climate elites.

Even strong advocates of action acknowledge that voters are shelving their climate worries for now. Peter Franchot, the Maryland state comptroller who faces a primary on Tuesday in his run for governor, … said climate is not what voters are focused on now. “The No. 1 issue facing most of the public in Maryland is the volatility and uncertainty about the economy. That’s what people are concerned about, and they’re particularly concerned about the rate of inflation,” he said.

Lesson: So Sen Joe Manchin was right. He was right!

Mr. Markey argued there would be political consequences if Democrats didn’t show they were doing all they could on climate. Young voters and liberals already are deflated by Democrats’ failures on other priorities, as well as the Supreme Court’s decisions. A major drop-off in turnout would sink Democrats’ chances of holding Senate seats in Georgia, New Hampshire and Nevada. Mr. Markey called on President Biden to declare a national emergency on climate, an action, he argued, that would energize climate voters.

Lesson: Again, how about the Democrat outliers moving to the Green Party where they really belong?

“Every high school and every college campus has environmental groups,” he said, “and executive actions by the Biden administration will send a strong signal to them that it is critical that they need to get out the vote.” ….

Lesson: A teachable moment has arrived for the students to study the bot sides, beginning with physical science and extending to economics, political economy, political science, and international relations.

Some activists focused their rage on Democrats beyond Mr. Manchin, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who they said continued to back moderate incumbents such as Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas against a younger and more diverse cast of liberals.

Comment: Hispanics in South Texas are not very interested in climate–an elitist issue–the whole point of the Times article. They want a good standard of living, what elitist Democrats do not want to give them.

“There is a felt sense of a party-wide leadership failure,” said Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, a group of young climate activists. “Among young people there is a deep frustration that the issue of our time that is existential to our survival is not being met with the level of fight that it deserves.”

She and other organizers argued that anger over the tanked environmental legislation would only push young voters to double down on their commitment to elect progressive Democrats.

“I think they see there is no room to remake the Republican Party, but there is room in states to remake the Democratic Party,” said Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, president of NextGen America, the progressive political action committee founded by the billionaire Tom Steyer to mobilize young voters….

Lesson: Sunrise, NextGen … these groups need to regroup, obviously. They are now the outliers–and maybe even ‘liars’ if they do not fairly teach the students.

While Democrats blamed Mr. Manchin, there was little sign that Republicans felt political pressure to move toward action on climate — and certainly none of the moderate voter outcry that recently prompted a rare bipartisan compromise on gun laws.

Lesson: Winning! And all that money the Left has spent of fake conservative and Republican groups did not work in this instance.

Republicans are responding to the localized effects of climate change with calls for action — Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, on Friday pleaded for passage of legislation to save the Giant Sequoias in his district, which are threatened by fire and drought — but those calls don’t cite the underlying cause, a warming planet….

Lesson: Real environmentalism versus exaggerated, fake environmentalism. Save the trees, block industrial wind turbines.

“The problem with the environment movement right now is it’s so one-sided, if anyone votes the right way, it’s deemed not good enough, and if a Republican votes that way, the voters who care won’t vote for him anyway.”

Lesson: It’s politics, really, not deep conviction on the part of many lawmakers.

Mr. [Benjamin Backer of the American Conservation Movement] and other Republicans involved in the issue insist there is movement on their side. Outright denial of climate change is almost gone, at least among elected Republicans. Many in the G.O.P. had moved to arguing that rising temperatures were simply natural.

Lesson: How about a human influence that is positive, not negative, to flip the whole climate issue?

Now, after members of Congress took bipartisan fact-finding trips over recent years to watch Greenland melt and Alaska’s permafrost burn, the predominant argument has shifted again: Tough action by the United States is pointless, many say, because carbon pollution from India and China will swamp it.

Lesson: Here is what the Times would otherwise say is a ‘denier’ and ‘delayer’ argument that is …. true! And on the fact finding mission, weather is not climate, and change has positives, not negatives for ‘optimal’ nature.

Still, House Republicans have offered incremental proposals to answer more sweeping Democratic offerings — such as investments in American renewable energy manufacturers and forest and wetland restorations. They may suddenly seem more acceptable in the face of the Democrats’ failures, Mr. Backer said….

Lesson: Big Problem: Turning around the economy and taming inflation require budget cuts, and climate is the easiest part of the budget to cut. The US Department of Energy is one major candidate,

Representative Nancy Mace, a Republican from coastal South Carolina, believes that for both parties, climate change is a generational issue — younger voters and politicians want action; older people don’t.

Lesson: Wait! The above poll states that younger people are not energized as the shared narrative suggests. Is all the $$ spent on the students and youth a mirage?

But how any action can be bipartisan remains unclear. [Republican Nancy] Mace said the Democrats’ approach of offering tax breaks for the purchase of electric vehicles or clean energy was “picking winners and losers.” She said Republicans wanted broad tax cuts that would give people more money to make such investments if they chose to do so.

Lesson: Common sense at a time of austerity.

Democrats tried on Friday to stay upbeat. Mr. Manchin, speaking on a West Virginia radio broadcast, said that if Democratic leaders were willing to wait until September, perhaps something could be worked out. Democrats say they still have time to energize their voters before November….

Lesson: Read the article before this hope-and-a-prayer conclusion for continuing a failed crusade. It’s over but all the shouting and wasting. Dense energy rules the climate.

The post NYT Climate Reporting: Some Realism amid Political Retreat appeared first on Master Resource.

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July 22, 2022